The great Easter getaway will commence this morning with millions heading on roads, trains, cruises and planes to start their holidays.
More Brits are expected to stay in the UK than head overseas, with VisitEngland predicting 3.4 million people to holiday over the Easter weekend while ABTA said 1.6 million will fly abroad.
For the UK this is expected to generate GBP800 million in tourism spend for the UK economy, with even more to come in from the millions planning day trips or family visits over the coming days.
VisitEngland chief executive James Berrersford said: “The industry has rallied following the severe weather earlier this year – it’s business as usual for tourism with a full line up of events and offers across the country, and destinations ready and waiting to welcome visitors this Easter break.”
Coach provider National Express said London, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff are among its most popular destinations this Easter although nearly a third of all bookings are to UK airports.
These will be taking some of the millions heading to destinations in the Canaries and Balearics which ABTA named as the most popular for the weekend, with Turkey and Tunisia also selling well.
London’s airports are expected to see 750,000 people depart during the weekend while 110,000 will from Manchester and 45,000 from Birmingham. Another 23,000 will depart from East Midlands while more than 100,000 will fly from Scottish airports.
Eurostar said more than 130,000 passengers are expected to travel throughout the weekend, 15% higher than last year.
“Easter is typically one of our busiest weekends, but this year it’s proving exceptionally busy as it falls later in the year. This is particularly the case on our Paris route as high bookings for the next few months suggests that the British love affair with Paris continues to blossom,” said Eurostar’s director of communications Mary Walsh. “Such is the demand that we’ve added extra services on our Paris route and we’ve extended our summer booking horizon for Paris, Brussels and Lille from four to six months.”